This spring, 289 New Canaan High School seniors will participate in an increasingly popular internship program that sends the students to work for the last month of the academic year at local and area businesses and organizations.
The figure represents about 94 percent of the Class of 2018—marking a high point in the history of a program that launched with just a dozen NCHS seniors in 2011.
Heather Bianco, coordinator of the Senior Internship Program, attributed the rise in popularity of ‘SIP’ its many benefits for students.
“It just gives them experience out of school in a work environment that they don’t get in school and a lot of them have not had a job before, so it just gives a professional environment where they can get a real-life work experience,” Bianco, who is in her second full year of overseeing the program, told NewCanaanite.com.
Here’s a look at its growth (article continues below):
NCHS Senior Internship Program Participation
|Graduating Year||No. Interns||Class Size||Percentage|
Bianco took the reins from Sue Carroll, who as coordinator of the College and Career Center at NCHS had overseen the development and first several years of SIP with help from a volunteer steering committee. (The committee’s members include James Zambarano, Melanie Berman, Jerry Miller, Tucker Murphy, Beth Dwyer, Wendy Pratt, Laura Budd, BJ Flagg, Betsy Sue Shannon, Ari Rothman, Susan Lenci and Laura Edmonds.)
Nearly 100 of the “host sites” this year are taking on NCHS seniors as part of an internship designed between the student and company or organization itself, with required approval from Bianco. The great majority of host companies opt into the program each year, agreeing to take on one or more interns from roughly mid-May through graduation in mid-June. They range from downtown law offices and retailers to the fire department, New Canaan Public Schools, area wildlife rehabilitators and shellfish providers on the waterfront in Norwalk.
Asked what those host sites get out of participating, Bianco said: “They not only help students but they get back—whether it be marketing, or you could always use help with social media—a lot of the local shops just get a new take on what the millennials want, this generation.”